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BSD

BSD: Coming Back to OpenBSD and EuroBSDcon 2019 Call for Talks

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BSD
  • Well, it’s been a while – falling in love with OpenBSD again

    When the Mac laptop came out without an ESC key (it was on this gimmicky little one row display at the top of the keyboard that could be reconfigured based on your application), as a long-time VI user (the commands are programmed into my spinal cord, I really have no choice now) I was disgusted. That forced me to recognize that I wasn’t Apple’s target market. They wanted average computer users who didn’t care if they were on the latest and greatest chipset and they were getting more and more closed and “un-upgradeable” every day.

  • EuroBSDcon 2019: Lillehammer, Norway

    The Call for Talk and presentation proposals for EuroBSDCon 2019 is now
    open.

    EuroBSDcon is the European technical conference for users and developers
    of BSD-based systems. The conference will take place September 19-22
    2019 in Lillehammer, Norway. The tutorials will be held on Thursday and
    Friday to registered participants and the talks are presented to
    conference attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Call for Talk and Presentation proposals period will close on May
    26th, 2019. Prospective speakers will be notified of accepteance or
    otherwise by June 3rd, 2019.

Licensing and Releases: MIT/BSD and GNU GPL

Filed under
GNU
BSD
  • Deprecation Notice: MIT and BSD

    Both copyrights and patents apply to software, but the word “patent” does not appear in MIT or BSD terms. MIT and Cal’s tech transfer offices say they never intended to license any patents. There is some argument that other words, like “use”, imply permission under patents, anyway. And there is some law that may or may not imply patent permission, when giving someone a copy of software. But a license can avoid all that uncertainty by spelling out plainly that it covers all relevant intellectual property [sic]. MIT and BSD don’t.

    Licenses like Apache 2.0 show how lawyers do this in legal terms for private deals every day. Blue Oak shows the same job done in everyday English, without long lists, run-on sentences, or complex scope rules.

    Patents are a problem that MIT and BSD do not solve. Open source developers have better options, at no real cost, with significant additional benefits. Even developers and companies that despise software patents, and will never seek them, benefit by choosing modern terms. It’s one thing to know that you won’t seek or enforce any patents. It’s quite another to have legal assurance from others that they, or their successors, won’t lay a patent trap.

  • mandoc-1.14.5 released

     

    This is a regular maintenance release. As structural changes are quite limited, i expect it to be very stable, so all downstream systems are encouraged to upgrade from any earlier version.  

  • coreutils-8.31 released [stable]

    This is to announce coreutils-8.31, a stable release.

  • GNU World Order 13x11

Videos: SwagArch 19.03, This Week in Linux, BSD Now

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Interviews
Reviews
BSD
  • SwagArch 19.03 Run Through

    In this video, we look at SwagArch 19.03. Enjoy!

  • Episode 57 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, every now and then we cover something from the project that this show gets its name from and this is one of those weeks so we’ll discuss the release of Linux 5.0. Then we’ll cover some other releases from LineageOS, NuTyX, Fatdog64, Linux from Scratch and some more core news with releases from the WINE and Vulkan projects. Later in the show, we’ll check out some App News from OBS Studio, Headset Music Player, BorgBackup, a couple desktop weather apps, one with a GUI and the other for the terminal. All that and much more, this is your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • Turing Complete Sed | BSD Now 288

    Software will never fix Spectre-type bugs, a proof that sed is Turing complete, managed jails using Bastille, new version of netdata, using grep with /dev/null, using GMail with mutt, and more.

NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor

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BSD
  • NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor

    NVMM provides hardware-accelerated virtualization support for NetBSD. It is made of an ~MI frontend, to which MD backends can be plugged. A virtualization API is shipped via libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM. Two additional components are shipped as demonstrators, toyvirt and smallkern: the former is a toy virtualizer, that executes in a VM the 64bit ELF binary given as argument, the latter is an example of such binary.

  • NetBSD Gains Hardware Accelerated Virtualization

    NetBSD, the highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system known for its platform diversity, has gained hardware-accelerated virtualization support via an improved NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor (NVMM).

GhostBSD: A Solid Linux-Like Open Source Alternative

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Reviews
BSD

Overall, aside from the system tools and the installation process, I did not see much not to like in running this BSD operating system. I experienced some annoyance when things failed to work just right, but I felt no frustrations that led me to give up on trying to use GhostBSD or find solutions to mishaps. I could provide a litany of Linux distros that did not measure up that well.

Some lingering problems for which I am still seeking workarounds are why my USB storage drives intermittently are not recognized and fail to mount. Another issue is why some of the preinstalled applications do not fully load. They either do not respond to launching at all, or crash before fully displaying anything beyond a white application window.

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Review: First impressions of Project Trident 18.12

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Reviews
BSD

I have a lot of mixed feelings and impressions when it comes to Trident. On the one hand, the operating system has some great technology under the hook. It has cutting edge packages from the FreeBSD ecosystem, we have easy access to ZFS, boot environments, and lots of open source packages. Hardware support, at least on my physical workstation, was solid and the Lumina desktop is flexible.

However, there were a lot of problems I ran into during this trial. Some of them are matters of taste or style. The installer looks unusually crude, for example, and the mixed icon styles weren't appealing. Similarly, switching themes made some icons in toolbars disappear. These are not functional issues, just presentation ones. There were some functional problems too though. For example, needing to close and re-open AppCafe to see available packages, or the desktop not resizing when running Trident in a virtual machine, which required that I change the display settings at each login.

Lumina has come a long way and is highly flexible and I like the available alternative widgets for desktop elements. This is useful because Lumina's weakest link on Trident seems to be its defaults as I had some trouble with the "Start" application menu and I think some work to polish the initial impression would be helpful.

The biggest issues though were with security. Trident ships with some extra security features in place, but most of them can be easily bypassed by any user by simply opening the Control Panel to view or kill processes or even add or remove packages. Some systems intentionally give the user full access by running everything as root, but in those cases at least the administrator knows they have complete access. This situation seems worse since Trident gives the illusion of security and limited access, but any curious user can run administrator tools. I think the project needs time to mature before I would recommend using it.

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ZFS and FreeBSD

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BSD
  • ZFS Boot Environments Are Helping To Improve The Resilience Of FreeBSD Upgrades

    Besides the ZFS file-system just being a heck of a lot better all-around than FreeBSD's traditional UFS, tooling around ZFS paired with its native snapshot capabilities is allowing for more resilient installations and upgrades of FreeBSD.

    FreeBSD developer Allan Jude talked at last weekend's FOSDEM conference about "magic upgrades" in making FreeBSD system upgrades atomic, safe, and fast by leveraging ZFS Boot Environments.

  • FOSDEM 2019 | BSD Now 284

    We recap FOSDEM 2019, FreeBSD Foundation January update, OPNsense 19.1 released, the hardware-assisted virtualization challenge, ZFS and GPL terror, ClonOS 19.01-RELEASE, and more.

MidnightBSD 1.1

Filed under
BSD

I’m happy to announce the availability of MidnightBSD 1.1 for amd64 and i386. This is a minor release to fix a few hardware and security issues that have come up since the 1.0 release. It is strongly recommended that you upgrade, particularly if you have newer Intel hardware.

This release also includes a new version of OpenSSL. This is a move from 1.0.1 to 1.0.2p in base. Many mports are built with a package and will likely not be affected. It is still recommended that you rebuild any mports using SSL or update the packages as appropriate.

Read more

Also: Desktop-Friendly MidnightBSD 1.1 Released

NetBSD 9.0 Will Have Performance & Security Improvements

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BSD

The recently releases of FreeBSD 12.0 and DragonFlyBSD 5.4 have been exciting in the BSD space while moving forward there is the NetBSD 9.0 release a ways out on the horizon.

NetBSD 9.0 has yet to be branched, but it was talked about this weekend at FOSDEM 2019 by developer Benny Siegert. Enhancing the security of NetBSD 9.0 is now kernel ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization), a kernel leak detector, Kernel Address Space Address Sanitizer (KASAN), Kernel Undefined Behavior Sanitizer (KUBSAN), user-space sanitizers, and other security work.

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Review: FreeNAS 11.2

Filed under
BSD

In my opinion, FreeNAS is probably one of the easier NAS solutions to set up and it has probably the nicest web-based interface I have used. The web portal looks nice, I think it is well organized and there are a huge number of features. Further, FreeNAS offers good documentation and is fairly light on resources. The base system is smaller than 1GB on the disk and typically uses less than 1GB of RAM.

I also like the support for ZFS, an advanced file system well known for its reliability, snapshots and ability to handle vast amounts of data. FreeNAS makes setting up ZFS volumes, and user accounts on these volumes, a point-n-click process and I applaud the developers for that.

On the negative side of things, some features did not work for me. I struggled with plugins and file synchronization through the web portal (working with files from the command line worked fine for me) and getting networking set up properly took more effort than I had expected. I was also a bit concerned about the lack of local security. If your server is headless or in a locked room, it is not a big deal to have root logged in, but for a lot of environments it is not advisable to leave root logged in at the console.

I think whether FreeNAS is a good choice for managing storage will depend a lot on how comfortable the administrator is with FreeBSD. For people who are comfortable setting up a FreeBSD server and manually adding storage pools, there may not be a lot of added benefit to FreeNAS. However, if you want to manage a lot of storage space and other services through a polished point-n-click web interface rather than manually doing everything through the command line, then FreeNAS is an excellent tool. There are a few rough edges to work out, I think, but on the whole I found FreeNAS made administering ZFS volumes and related services pleasantly straight forward.

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More in Tux Machines

Open Source Doesn’t Make Money Because It Isn’t Designed To Make Money

We all know the story: you can’t make money on open source. Is it really true? I’m thinking about this now because Mozilla would like to diversify its revenue in the next few years, and one constraint we have is that everything we do is open source. There are dozens (hundreds?) of successful open source projects that have tried to become even just modest commercial enterprises, some very seriously. Results aren’t great. I myself am trying to pitch a commercial endeavor in Mozilla right now (if writing up plans and sending them into the ether can qualify as “pitching”), and this question often comes up in feedback: can we sell something that is open source? I have no evidence that we can (or can’t), but I will make this assertion: it’s hard to sell something that wasn’t designed to be sold. Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • What OpenDSP Means to the Future
    Open source software to standardize grid-edge technology.
  • These Emulators Bring WWII Cipher Machines Like Enigma To Your PC
    Alan Turing, the popular mathematician and computer scientist, developed Bombe, a device used for cracking Enigma codes and played a major role in World War II. GCHQ isn’t the first to bring emulators of code-breaking devices. If CodeChef’s emulator looks tedious, you can try this web-based Enigma emulator from Summerside Makerspace or this Enigma Simulator desktop app by Terry Long. Do give these online emulators from WWII a try and tell us about your experience in the comments section.
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  • GNU Health installer 3.4.1
    The GNU Health installer (gnuhealth-setup) has been updated to 3.4.1.
  • AWS’ contribution to Elasticsearch may only further entrench the open source vendor and cloud war
    Last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it was launching an open source value-added distribution for search and analytics engine Elasticsearch. As AWS evangelist Jeff Barr put it, the launch would “help continue to accelerate open source Elasticsearch innovation” with the company “strong believers in and supporters of open source software.” Yet for industry-watchers and those sympathetic to the open source space, this has been seen as the latest move in a long-running spat between the developers and software vendors on one side, and the cloud behemoths – in particular AWS – on the other. So who is right? Previous moves in the market have seen a lot of heat thrown in AWS’ direction for, as the open source vendors see it, taking open source code to which they have not contributed and selling software as a service around it. MongoDB, Confluent and Redis Labs were the highest profile companies who changed their licensing to counter this threat, with reactions ranging from understanding through gritted teeth to outright hostility.
  • Andes Technology Strengthens the RISC-V EasyStart Alliance to 15 ASIC Design Service Partners
    As the first public CPU IP company in Asia, specializing in low-power, high-performance 32/64-bit processor IP cores and SoC design platform, Andes Technology Corporation (TWSE:6533) created a RISC-V promotion program called the “EasyStart” in July, 2018. The goal of the RISC-V EasyStart program is to help Andes’ design service partners catch the emerging opportunity in RISC-V based SoC design and development. The expanding global alliance now has 15 members and is on the way to its target 20 members in the near future. The alliance in alphabetical order includes Alchip, ASIC Land, BaySand, CMSC, EE solution, INVECAS, MooreElite, PGC, SiEn (Qingdao) Semiconductor, Silex Insight, Socle , XtremeEDA and 3 unnamed partners. These companies cover foundry process technologies from 90nm to 10nm and some provide both SoC design and turn-key service. The alliance partners will use Andes qualified V5 RISC-V processor cores to provide their end customers total RISC-V design service solutions.

Audiocasts/Shows: GNU/Linux on ARM, GNU World Order and Linux Action News

  • How usable is desktop Linux on ARM?
  • gnuWorldOrder_13x12
  • Linux Action News 97
    We try out the latest GNOME 3.32 release, and why it might be the best release ever. New leader candidates for Debian emerge, we experience foundation inception, and NGINX is getting acquired. Plus Android Q gets an official Desktop Mode, the story behind the new Open Distro for Elasticsearch, and more!

Firefox Wayland By Default Diverted To Fedora 31

The plans to ship the Wayland-ized Firefox by default in Fedora 30 have been thwarted and will now have to wait until Fedora 31 to try again. For a while now there's been the firefox-wayland package available for Fedora users to try the Wayland-native version of Firefox rather than having to run through XWayland when firing up this default web browser on Fedora Workstation. With Fedora 30 the developers were hopeful the Wayland Firefox version was finally in good enough shape to ship it by default, but that's not the case. Read more